I believe it is important to be an active member of your community and participate in civic life. After moving back home to West Virginia I began to deliver weekly meals to homebound residents through Catholic Charities, and am always looking for new opportunities to serve. In particular I am looking to serve on the board of local nonprofits and lend my expertise. Below are some highlights of other service I have been involved in over the years.
I served with AmeriCorps VISTA 2018-2019 as I transitioned out of college and moved back to my hometown.
- After participating in a local service trip at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community Center in Philadelphia, I returned for the remainder of the school year to assist with their English classes. For two hours per week I worked with 15 or more adult immigrants during the center’s English for Speakers of Other Languages” courses.
- For the 2017-18 school year I worked with Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) to assist in the classroom at School of the Future in Philadelphia. There I mentored over 50 students in 9th and 10th grade during their science classes for 8 hours per week.
- During the 2016-17 school year I got involved with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement at Drexel University as one of their “Community Scholars”. In this role I got to coordinate after-school STEM activities for 30+ 3rd and 4th grade students for 5 hours per week as part of a new Drexel course. I also taught a guest lesson in the 5th grade classroom and returned as a judge for their annual science fair.
- In 2014 I developed a new community hybrid course for Drexel University with several professors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The course combined lectures in the classroom with meetings throughout the city. 18 students took the class and presented ideas to engage Philadelphia residents on topics of climate change, urban ecology, and public health along the Schuylkill River Walking Trail.
OGLEBAY GOOD ZOO
For 5 years (and then 3 more as a paid employee) I volunteered at the local zoo in Wheeling, WV. I directed educational activities including summer camps for 4 to 6 year old children for 40 hours per week, as well as seasonal programs and birthday parties or other events. One of the most rewarding experiences was bringing animals on the road to a nearby troubled youth center and interacting with the children there.